Searching for a Kindergarten Program for Your Child? Three Important Questions to Ask on a School Visit (and the answers you need)
You are a “soon-to-be” Kindergarten parent. About this time of year, you may be Googling, surveying neighbors or attending local school events seeking the best fit for your child. It can be overwhelming to choose the right school, especially for a new Kindergarten parent. As parents, we all strive to make the best educational choices for our children, and there are many out there today-private, faith-based, charter, public, home school, cyber school and more. Well, you are not alone!
Gone are the days when children attended Kindergarten, learned ABC’s and 123’s, had a snack, played, and came home two hours later. There is much more to a Kindergarten curriculum today, and parents expect more. As a teacher for over 20 years, St. John Paul II Regional School’s Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Romano, encourages parents to focus on a program that provides your child with a strong foundation and a positive learning experience.
She believes there are three key questions that every parent should ask, and know the answer to before they leave a school visit. The answers will help you determine the best fit for your child and give you peace of mind that you made the right choice.
Be sure to ask:
1. What makes your Kindergarten program “academic?”
At St. John Paul II, the primary focus is introducing and expanding on the foundations of learning. This includes listening comprehension, letter identification, phonics, beginning reading, number sense, math vocabulary, and addition/subtraction. When this is the focus of a Kindergarten program, it allows for a positive learning experience and easier transition to First Grade.
2. How do you teach to different academic levels? “My Johnny is super bright!” or “My Johnny may need some help.”
Kindergarten teachers must work towards getting everyone “on the same page” – even if at different levels. All students in our Kindergarten program complete readiness review skills to help children adjust to Kindergarten. Instruction blended with hands-on, small group, and whole group activities allow our teachers to evaluate strengths and needs effectively. Assessments for enrichment activities or extra support recommendations to meet the child where he/she is at can then be effectively determined.
3. How does your program develop a child socially and spiritually?
Our teachers recognize that Kindergarten students come from a variety of backgrounds, yet have the same important needs-respect, love and a thirst for knowledge. At St. John Paul II, we know that when children know they are in a safe, nurturing environment, they will grow academically, socially, emotionally as a beloved child of God. This is the learning environment we create!
Selecting a Kindergarten program does not have to be a daunting experience. We hope you found this information helpful. It can be an enjoyable journey of determining the best school fit for your child and your family. We encourage you to take your time, get to know the schools that you visit, and be sure to ask the questions above. You will then be in the best position to choose the right school for your child… and sleep well at night!
To schedule a personal tour and learn more about our Kindergarten program and/or admissions process, please contact advancement director, Christine Willard at 856-783-3088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Joyce Romano holds a B.A. in elementary education and special education. She brings over 20 years of experience in both public and Catholic school settings teaching special needs students as well as preschool through fifth grade students. Mrs. Romano has recently helped rewrite the math curriculum for the Camden Diocese in collaboration with other diocesan elementary school teachers. Mrs. Romano believes, “Everything in Kindergarten is exciting, which makes it so much fun!” She will help her students remember that the first four letters of Kindergarten are KIND and that each child is unique, special and always a beloved child of God.